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Non-Prog Concert Reviews

Gary Numan

Live In Anaheim California, August 2006

Review by Lorraine Kay


Gary Numan blew the socks off the audience at the Anaheim House of Blues last month, August 23, when he introduced his latest CD, Jagged. The concert ended the first installment of the Jagged North American Tour that began Jul 31 in Detroit, MI. at the Majestic Theater. Opening with the dark and powerful “Pressure” from that CD, Numan slam-dunked the audience with a powerful rhythm section and synchronized lighting effects. Every song on the set list packed a wallop and the audience loved it. Even at 48 years old Numan showed no loss of energy on stage to the point of needing to replace his mic stand twice from abuse that night.

The rest of the evening included a set list that was made up of equally powerful performances beginning with “RIP” – originally from the Pure CD, followed by “Metal” – from the Pleasure Principle album. Next up was another selection from Jagged entitled “Halo”, which was followed by “Films” – another track from The Pleasure Principle. Numan seesawed back and forth between the new CD and other older favorites throughout the evening. “Slave” – another track from Jagged was another big hit with the audience but was followed quickly by “Down In The Park” – originally from the 1979 release of Replicas. “Jagged” – the title track from Jagged, was next on the set immediately followed by another old favorite - “Are Friends Electric” – also from Replicas. “In A Dark Place” is another new track from Jagged, which led to “Pure” - the title track from the Pure CD. Next Numan introduced “Haunted” – from Jagged to the audience before closing the set with another old favorite from the Pure CD - “Prayer for the Unknown”. Numan returned to the stage for a three-song encore opening with probably his best known hit of the 70s – “Cars” – from the Pleasure Principle album. He followed the signature song with “Dark” – from Exile and closed the concert with “Blind” – another new track from Jagged.

Dale Kay
 
Dale Kay
   
The dark showman was joined on stage with an equally powerful ensemble. Numan presented a few tunes on guitar even in spite of having to cover the gig with a replacement for his usual Les Paul, which finally met with not just one accident but two earlier in the tour. The second of these was a near terminal accident in Kansas City – but the audience was none the wiser. Lead guitar throughout the night was under the control of Chris McCormack. The keyboards were manned by Adrian Crickmer with precision execution of the keys and pseudo-militant stage presence, adding a certain ambiance. David Brooks also commanded respect from the keyboards and approached the audience as he brought the pounding bass lines to the front. The biggest punch of all came repeatedly throughout the night from longtime Numan associate, Richard Beaseley on drums.

The House of Blues crowd was treated after the concert to a meet and greet on the balcony patio after the concert where Numan posed for pictures with fans and took time to chat with each one. A truly gracious host, he gave the impression that each and every one was a long time friend and didn’t rush any along, even though he was obviously exhausted after the high-energy show that was preceded that day by transportation problems on the way to Southern California from Arizona. Those problems left the band temporarily while they waited repairs. Anxious to return home the next morning, he and his beautiful wife Gemma still made sure the fans had a great time. For more information on his return tour in the spring of 2007 and Jagged, you may visit his web site.

Dale Kay
       
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2006 Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.
 
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